India is truly getting democratized. Gone are the days when metros like Mumbai, Delhi controlled what we thought and spoke. Today, folks in small towns are equally aspirational and want to shine with the world. Accordingly, Star Bharat (Life OK revamped) represent millions of Indians who live in large part of Hindi heartland, hence shows are based in Indore, Meerut and Bihar, each having its own unique taste of life and diction.
The bouquet of shows also offer an interesting mix of genres. One big take away is that unlike most recent shows which have a healthy sprinkling of English, in these serials the Hindi used is quite colloquial and distinct to the people of the region.
Kya Haal Mr. Paanchal (Optimystix Entertainment) is a fun take on a mother-in-law (Kanchan Gupta) who wants a bride for her son (Maninder Singh) having all the qualities of a perfect Indian woman. How things go wrong and her son is left straddled with five wives form the core of the plot. While stories of man having more than one wife is common, this concept of five wives is unique. It is a take on Draupadi in Mahabharata who too greedily wanted all the traits of a perfect husband in one man and ended up being wives to five Pandavs.
There is just one issue, if we can make a hue & cry about Pehredaar Piya Ki not being good for kids, can same argument not be given here as well i.e. supporting polygamy? we leave the decision up to the readers.
One show which impresses us the most is the reincarnation drama Ayushman Bhava (White Horse International). A eight year boy remembers his past life when he was murdered. A common strand in most Star Bharat shows is a throwback to films of eighties. This is a kind of take from Karz-the movie with a twist. Avinash Sachdev plays the older avatar with elan. The show’s plotline is gripping and the edit justifies the storyline progress making an engaging watch. The kid Ricky Patel does impress and depicts restrained maturity.
Next comes Nimki Mukhiya (Qissago Telefilms) set in small town Bihar, complete with wide spread copying in exam centres. Nimki represent today’s youth who does not want to work hard and is looking for a good match sans dowry. How Nimki would eventually become the village head will be interesting to watch . The casting is spot on as most actors really look their parts. We are sure as episodes progress, Nimki will stand up for female rights in male dominated society. Hope we see some stories on the effect of Prohibition in rural Bihar.
Another show which grabs our attention is Saam Daam Dand Bhed (Shakuntalam Telefilms), which traces the life of a youngster who takes to crime yet has his heart in the right place. How fate forces him to enter the murky world of politics which he so loathes. He will be forced to employ every trick in the book as the title suggests to get his way. Bhanu Uday act is laudable as the lead and Sonal Vengurlekar is doing a fine job enacting dabang type heroine. The show deserves a watch.
No channel programming is complete without a nonfiction show. Om Shanti Om (Colosceum) is different from all the reality shows in the sense that it focuses only on spiritual songs. Ranveer Singh opened the show with a song and dance on Ganpati. Swami Ramdev is the mahaguru, he is assisted by actor Sonakshi Sinha, composer Shekar Ravjiani and singer Kanika Kapoor. Among the first day performances the rendition of Shirdi Wali Sai Baba was the best of the day. Sufi song Khwaja Mere Khwaja also took our breath away.
One must doff our hat to Star’s attempt to really change the grammar of the genre which is more known for its catfights and gaudy costumes. All this is off the table here. So will real talent be enough to get eyeballs? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.